I think my husband would probably wrap Jennifer in cotton wool if he could.  But I'm much more likely to tell her to just go out and try new things.

We are a very strong family unit and we can talk about anything - nothing is off limits.  It's fantastic that we have that sort of relationship and it really helps when we're making plans, particularly when I'm being too eager and my husband is probably being too cautious.  He does find it hard to let go; Jennifer is his wee girl and he wants to know she's safe.  Of course her safety is paramount but I want her to get out there, give things a go and show that she can do it.  Jennifer doesn't always initiate things and I find myself making suggestions; I'm starting to realise that I'm quite pushy!  But Jennifer goes along with it, throws herself at the challenges and really enjoys herself.

Even if things go wrong, we'll all learn from the mistakes

Not long ago my sister wanted to take Jennifer water-skiing.  My husband's natural reaction was to say no, mine was to say yes and so, of course, we all sat down to talk about it.  We looked at what our worries were, including concerns about the cold, autonomic dysreflexia and just the logistics of it and we did a lot of research - in these last years, we've become great users of internet forums.  We took advice from everywhere, did some more talking and the three of us all compromised a bit and met in the middle by coming up with a solution that worked.  On the day, Jennifer had great fun out on the lake with my sister and I was so proud to be watching on whilst she did it.

Pamela and Jennifer taking a selfie

Jennifer has one more year of studies and then she thinks she'd like to go to University.  Making those plans is going to be a lot of fun as I'm sure we'll all stick to our usual form; my husband will hope she wants to study close to home and I'll be hoping she wants to stretch herself and go further afield.  Not that it will be easy to see her go off, I'm sure it never is.  But it's a stepping stone, with challenges to meet and a life to build.  My husband and I won't always be here - Jennifer has to be strong and independent and, if she goes to university, what she learns will only help.  Even if things go wrong, we'll all learn from the mistakes, we'll do some more research and we'll try again.

Jennifer will push herself to be as good as she can be and I am determined that this injury won't hold her back.  We all have different approaches but, as a family, we'll support her all the way.

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